October is National Dental Hygiene Month! Our hygienists want to know if you are you doing “The Daily 4.”
We are celebrating the wonderful work our dental hygienists do every day and helping them share the importance of practicing good oral health by doing The Daily 4.
The Daily 4 represent the foundation for healthy smiles. Our dental hygiene team wants you to know, incorporating these steps into your regular oral health routine can have a significant impact on oral and overall health.
Hey kids – Do you know that 2 is the magic number? Both kids and adults should brush for two minutes two times a day to help reduce biofilm and prevent caries, gingivitis and other biofilm-related diseases.
Practice proper brushing techniques and you are on your way to a brighter smile!
You may have heard about a recent study that questions what we know about the benefits of flossing. In response, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is advocating dental hygiene practice that is both evidence-based and patient/client-centered.
As a result of the study, the ADHA’s newly revised Standards for Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice emphasize that the dental hygiene care plan be personalized according to the individual’s unique oral health needs, general health status, values, expectations and abilities, an approach we have been practicing here at Keystone Dental Arts for years.
It remains a fact that daily proper flossing or use of other interdental cleaning methods removes biofilm and food particles that a toothbrush can’t reach. Lack of adequate care in these areas can lead to biofilm buildup, which we know can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
What we do understand from the new information available, is flossing may not be right for everyone, and we are working in partnership with each of our patients to identify the interdental cleaning method that best suits his or her oral health needs and abilities.
Additional industry research is ongoing in this area, and hygienist interactions with patients will play a role in further researching dental flossing as an effective means of mechanical plaque removal.
At your next periodic exam, expect to have a conversation with your hygienist or dentist to discuss their recommendations for the interdental cleaning devices that best fit your oral health needs.
Until then, we recommend that you do not abandon your flossing practices and continue with proper flossing technique.
Teeth alone account for less than half of the mouth, so it is important not to forget about the rest.
Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse helps eliminate biofilm and bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot. Ask your hygienist or dentist which antiseptic mouth rinse is right for you.
When you are unable to brush or use a commercial mouth rinse between meals and snacks, we recommend rinsing with water to help dissolve excess sugars and wash away acids.
Rinsing can be extra important for elderly adults who might be more susceptible to oral health problems due to disease, dry mouth from medications, and disabilities that might prohibit adequate, independent oral health care.
Check out these tips for Caregivers on How To Care For A Senior’s Smile.
Bacteria in the biofilm on teeth produce acid and can decrease your oral pH to an unsafe level. This can cause demineralization that, over time, weakens teeth and can lead to decay.
When you are unable to brush and floss after a meal, it might surprise you to learn, we recommend chewing sugar-free gum to help protect your teeth.
Chewing stimulates the salivary glands to increase their flow rate by up to 10 times during the first few minutes of chewing and the flavors in sugar-free gum also increase the quantity of saliva in the mouth. This helps clean out food particles and neutralizes biofilm acids on the teeth.
Keep Practicing the Daily 4!